Dessert Herbs Ice Cream Summer

Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream




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Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream in pan with scoop

Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream is made with real mint leaves and dark chocolate ~ summer eating doesn’t get any better!   The zippy flavor of the fresh mint paired with an extra quantity of dark chocolate makes this the best mint chip ice cream I’ve ever tasted. 

Mint chip ice cream pin.

The minute the weather starts to warm up I start dreaming about ice cream flavors.  My youngest daughter and I made our first trip of the season to our favorite ice cream shop the other night after dinner, I got Bourbon & Coffee, she got Chocolate Gooey Brownie, and I’ll have fabulous ice cream flavors swirling around in my brain from now until the end of August, when I’ll finally give it a rest until the next season.

This fresh mint chip ice cream is fancy ice cream shop quality made right in your own kitchen.

Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream in a glass dish with mint sprig

Mint chip  ice cream made with fresh mint tastes very different from ice cream made with peppermint extract or other flavorings.  I was surprised at how little mint I needed for this recipe–one good sized handful of mint leaves, steeped for 2 hours in hot cream was all it took to give a really nice mint flavor.   The cooling sensation of fresh mint makes this flavor one of the most refreshing ever.  If you’re a mint chocolate chip lover (and aren’t we all?) this is going to rock your world.

You can pluck fresh mint leaves from your garden or get them in the herb section of your supermarket.  If you have any patch of dirt available, mint grows like a weed, as long as it gets enough water.  I used a combination of about half spearmint and half peppermint, both of which I have growing in little containers in my garden.  The flavor is so refreshing and bears very little resemblance to freezer aisle mint ice cream.

Fresh mint chip ice cream in the ice cream machine

The chocolate is melted with a bit of oil and then drizzled into the ice cream during the last couple minutes of churning, which gives it that delicate, almost lacy effect. No hard, frozen chunks of chocolate to bite into, but lots of chocolate flavor!

The technique, if you’re curious is called stracciatella, or shards in Italian, and beautifully flecked stracciatella is one of the most popular gelato flavors in Italy.

Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream in pan with blue cloth

Tips for Growing Mint in Containers ~

You don’t need a big yard to grow your own fresh herbs–lots of herbs grow very well in containers.  Mint is an especially good choice for container gardening because it tends to spread out of control in the garden.

  • There are lots of varieties of mint  to choose from these days. Spearmint is what you normally find at the grocery store, and is what you most commonly think of when you think of classic “mint” flavor. You can also get peppermint, which has a slightly different flavor that you’ll recognize as the minty flavor that is often used to flavor desserts. You can even buy chocolate mint, with the chocolate flavor built right in!
  • Mint likes sun, but can take some shade, so take advantage of the places in your garden or on your patio that get a bit of shade during the day.
  • Harvest mint sprigs regularly by pinching off the top 1/3 or so of a stem. This will encourage more growth.   Don’t take more than about 1/3 of the plant at a time.
  • Water regularly. Mint plants like water, and containers can dry out quickly on hot summer days.
  • Want to grow your mint indoors? You can, check out these tips.

Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream in pan with scoop


Which ice cream machine do I recommend?

I get asked all the time about what machine I use. I use and recommend Cuisinart. I’ve had my machine for years without any issues, I think because there are no fussy electronic parts to break down ~ it’s a simple motor that turns the freezer bowl for churning the ice cream and it works quickly and perfectly every time.

  • The machine I use, and it’s the base model. It works great for ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbets, and makes all of them in about 2o minutes. Click HERE or click on the image for more info.

Recipe lightly adapted from Serious Eats

Fresh Mint Chip Ice Cream in pan with scoop
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3.37 from 166 votes

Fresh Mint Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 large handful fresh mint leaves about 1 cup, lightly packed
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons neutral oil canola, sunflower

Instructions

  • Heat the cream and half and half in a saucepan until just simmering.
  • Remove from the heat, add the mint leaves, cover and let steep for 2 hours.
  • Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar and set aside.
  • Strain the mint leaves out of the cream, pour back into the saucepan, and add the egg yolk mixture.
  • Place back on the stove and heat over low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  • Strain again to remove any bits of cooked egg yolk, and chill thoroughly (preferably overnight).
  • Churn according to your ice cream maker's instructions.
  • While the ice cream is churning, melt the dark chocolate with the oil in the microwave or in a double boiler and mix until it is smooth.
  • Pour the chocolate in a thin stream over the ice cream when it is almost done churning, you can break up any large pieces of chocolate that form with a spoon.
  • Place in a freezer safe container and freeze for at least a few hours before serving.

Make it your own ~

  • Make it greener if you’re one of those who loves that green color of the store bought stuff, add a drop or two of green food coloring.
  • Make it mintier ~ tear and crush the mint leaves as you add them to the hot cream, this will release more of the essential oils.
  • Make it lighter ~ use half heavy cream and half whole milk.
  • Make it without the fresh mint ~ use mint extract.  The amount will depend on the brand you are using, start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more to taste.

 

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39 Comments

    Leave a Reply






  • Reply
    Jessica P.
    July 6, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    5 stars
    Excellent flavor! I planted a Cuban Mint plant in my yard (which claims to have a less-intense flavor than other varieties- but I never noticed that- and I see now is made for mojitos) so that is what I used. My plant is new so to avoid picking too much I cut the recipe in half.- plus it was a nice size to just see if the recipe worked. I followed it exactly as written and it was great. An INTENSE mint flavor (even with this “subtle” mint), but different from any mint flavor I’ve ever had. It was “herbal”, “earthy”- definitely could tell it came from a plant. I ground up some dark chocolate chips in the food processor to make them more manageable and added right at the end.

    I have definitely saved this for later after my plant has recovered. It made a GREAT addition our 4th of July cookout.

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 6, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks jessica, glad you had such fun with this!

  • Reply
    Deonna Harmon
    June 6, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    Tried to make this tonight and cooked it too long and scrambled my eggs. Was trying to view your video and showing the end of the cooking process would be helpful since I have only made ice cream a couple of times.

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 7, 2020 at 7:59 am

      Good point Deonna, and remember, you can strain out those scrambled bits.

  • Reply
    Stacey
    June 3, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    5 stars
    Thank you I love this recipe! I’ve made it a few times and it always came out great. The only thing I do differently is I just throw in mini chocolate chips instead of melting chocolate.

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 3, 2020 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks for the nice feedback Stacey, enjoy your summer 🙂

  • Reply
    Avie
    May 29, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    5 stars
    Looks super tasty! I love my ice cream super duper minty, will the recipe suffice if I break and bruise my mint leaves, or should I add some extract? And can I use the stems?

  • Reply
    ginger
    May 20, 2020 at 10:36 am

    Great recipe and detailed instructions! But how long should i cook the mixture and how much should i beat it? should i beat the yolks until scrambled egg kind of beaten?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 20, 2020 at 11:04 am

      You’ll cook the cream and egg yolk mixture slowly until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon, this will take 10 minutes or so, depending on your pan and your heat level. You’ll whisk the egg yolks and sugar until well combined.

  • Reply
    Jen
    April 2, 2020 at 8:00 am

    When you say chill it, preferably overnight, would you recommend chilling it in the fridge or freezer?

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 18, 2020 at 1:25 pm

      The refrigerator.

  • Reply
    Heather Dekker Corry
    March 28, 2020 at 10:22 am

    5 stars
    Top notch recipe. We waited a bit late to add the chocolate in the ice cream machine, but the kids didn’t know any better and still tastes amazing. I’ll know for next time to drizzle in 5 minutes prior to done.
    I tagged you on Instagram.

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 28, 2020 at 11:06 am

      Thanks Heather <3

  • Reply
    Stacey
    October 15, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    5 stars
    I made this and it was a hit with everyone! The only thing I did different was I put the mint leaves in before I simmered the cream. I also smashed them up while they were cooking.

  • Reply
    Emily
    September 23, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    I’ve tried the recipe twice now and I can’t get it to thicken. Nothing happens when I put it in the ice cream maker

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 23, 2019 at 2:34 pm

      It sounds like an issue with your machine Emily, if your machine is working properly it will freeze the mixture. Make sure you’ve chilled it before you add it, and make sure you’ve frozen the bowl of the machine overnight before using.

  • Reply
    Al
    August 9, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    In the middle of making this and it literally tastes like nothing after steeping for over two hours. Any tips?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 9, 2019 at 3:27 pm

      That’s so strange, mint is super strong. One thing you can do to release more flavor from any herb is to crush it, so you could do that with the back of a spoon or something to release the oils in the leaves. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Alena
    July 4, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    Hi Sue, when you let the mint leaves steep in the cream, do you refrigerate it or is it okay to leave it on the stove off the heat?
    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 4, 2019 at 5:52 pm

      On the stove Alena, but if you wanted to you could do it in the fridge, up to overnight for stronger flavor.

  • Reply
    sofya Brown
    July 3, 2019 at 6:23 am

    You seem very nice, and the recipe looks great I am making it right now!.

  • Reply
    Kylie
    June 26, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    This recipe seems awesome and I really want to make it, but I have a big family. How much does this recipe yield?

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 26, 2018 at 3:02 pm

      It makes approximately 2 pints, Kylie, I’ve updated the recipe to include that, thanks!

  • Reply
    Nancy
    June 4, 2018 at 8:50 am

    5 stars
    I made this ice cream over the weekend and it is SO GOOD!! I used Swerve to sweeten it so it’s sugar free too! I never knew what to do with the mint I grow other than put a leaf or two in iced tea but now I know!! I will be making this again before summer’s over. Probably more than once 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 4, 2018 at 9:21 am

      That’s fantastic Nancy, and I’m really glad to know that Swerve works so well here.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    May 27, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Let ice cream season begin! This sounds wonderful and looks so creamy. Hope you’re enjoying your holiday weekend.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    May 26, 2018 at 5:10 am

    So pretty and no doubt refreshing! Have a great long weekend, Sue!

  • Reply
    Kathy
    May 25, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Can this be made as a no churn ice cream??
    It sounds delicious!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 26, 2018 at 10:30 am

      It can be, you could follow the general recipe from one of my no churn ice creams, you will just need to find a way to steep the mint leaves to get that flavor. I would probably heat the condensed milk and steep them, then chill it before moving on with the recipe. I’m not sure you can whip cream that’s been heated and cooled, but you could try that, too. As for the fine chocolate bits, that’s more of a challenge, you might just fold in very finely minced chocolate before freezing.

      • Reply
        Sue
        May 26, 2018 at 10:32 am

        Here’s a link to my no churn vanilla bean ice cream..https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/no-churn-vanilla-bean-ice-cream/

        • Reply
          Sandra
          December 15, 2019 at 11:29 pm

          My no churn ice-cream recipe is never icy and keeps for months in the freezer. To prevent it going icy and the consistency of a firm soft-serve (that you can scoop straight from the freezer) you should add another ingredient such as caramel, an alcohol such as Baileys, a drinking chocolate powder or anything else eg melted chocolate. Leaving it plain or not mixing enough vanilla bean paste means it won’t go creamy and freezes too firm. If you saw my ice-cream you would see it doesn’t have an icy look. My two base ingredients are a 300 ml of thickened cream and 195 ml of condensed milk. I pour both into a stand mixer together and whip until a solid ripple occurs. Under-whipping is better. Any longer and you’ll have butter. I add the flavouring either in the last minute of whipping or stir it in by hand until I get the look I want. I’m currently steeping an entire bunch of fresh mint in heated condensed milk to try to get a natural mint flavour. Hint: Use an air-tight container and, you can also cover the ice-cream with cling wrap before putting the lid on to store the ice-cream.

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    May 25, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Looks so good. Pinning!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    May 25, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Wow, this looks fantastic! I love everything about it. You’re right about mint growing like a weed. I have a huge patch and it’s a bone of contention between Scott and I as it loves to invade his beautiful lawn without mercy! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kim
    May 25, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Just put my two ice cream maker inserts in the freezer yesterday in hopes of having some yummy frozen treats in the near future. You beat me to the starting line and it sounds delish.

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 25, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      I’ve got to get an extra insert for my machine,too!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    May 25, 2018 at 9:05 am

    I LOVE making homemade ice cream Sue! And this is my son Casey’s favorite flavor! Can’t wait to try your recipe!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    May 25, 2018 at 5:15 am

    Today it starts to feel like summer here..bring and sunny…this is a perfectly refreshing and delicious cooler.

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 25, 2018 at 8:15 am

      Here too ~ enjoy your weekend Angie!

      • Reply
        Jessica
        May 29, 2020 at 12:33 pm

        5 stars
        So good! Easy to follow directions and wonderful flavour, definitely going to become a favourite!